The best Animated Films Produced in Morocco

Animated films are movies or films made in figures manipulated to appear as moving images. In traditional animation, images are drawn or painted by hand on transparent celluloid sheets to be photographed and exhibited on film.

Today, most animated films are made with computer-generated imagery (CGI). Computer animation can be very detailed 3D animation, while 2D computer animation may look like traditional animation that can use stylistic reasons, low bandwidth, or faster real-time renderings.

The best Animated Films Produced in Morocco

Other standard animation methods apply a stop motion technique to 2- and 3-dimensional objects like

  • Paper cutouts
  • Puppets
  • Clay figures.

An animated film usually is a short film featuring an exaggerated visual style. The style takes inspiration from comic strips, often featuring

  • Anthropomorphic animals
  • Superheroes
  • Adventures of human protagonists

Especially with animals that form a natural predator/prey relationship (e.g., cats and mice, coyotes and birds), the action of animated films often centres around violent pratfalls such as falls, collisions, and explosions that would be lethal in real life.

Animated Film in Morocco 2022

The animated film’s production in Morocco was part of a test run commissioned in 2019 by Moroccan TV channels Al Oula and 2M, in partnership with FICAM, the international festival of animated films of Meknès.

“It is the first 100% Moroccan animated film series, whether in terms of scriptwriting or technical capabilities; all of this is Moroccan from start to finish. The animated film’s production is an honour for the Moroccans because when most of them were young, they always watched many foreign animated films such as

  • Sally
  • Belle and Sebastian
  • Captain Majed
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Moroccans have always wished to watch an animated film produced by a Moroccan, and here the dream is starting to come true,” says Dalila Drouicha, Production manager of Artcoustic studio.

Animation studio Artcoustic

Along with Lorem and Neverseen – all based in Casablanca – will produce two series each. A single series of the animated film is made up of 20 to 30 episodes, each 3 to 5 minutes long, which individually cost 100,000 DH (9,500 euros).

It marks the very first stage of making Morocco a player in the world of animation movies.

“Currently we cannot talk about the industry, but we can say that we are on the right path to having our own Moroccan industry, we cannot talk about the industry because we do not have an old history in this field and we also do not have many projects that enable us to say that we have an industry,” says Drouicha.

The Animated Films Production

The scriptwriting of the animation films alone took a year to do all the necessary research and run past the TV channels.

“The stages of production for a wide variety of animations, for example.

  • Scriptwriting
  • Storyboarding
  • Character animation
  • Sound mixing

It seems that these steps are the same as film production. Still, implementing these stages for animated films is more complex because the whole work depends on drawing and fictional characters,” says Yassine Oubaba, Editor at Artcoustic studio.

And the content of these animated films will honour the cultural heritage of Morocco.

“It is a series that brings together many Moroccan stories taken from the Moroccan culture, which we have reformulated and written in a way that suits the method of production and also suits the target audience. These stories include many lessons and they’re an added value for the emerging generation who will discover these animations,” says Oubaba.

Long used to watching foreign TV content translated into Arabic, Moroccans will be able to watch animated films in their dialect – a stepping stone for the Moroccan audiovisual industry.

“Choosing the Moroccan dialect because the target audience is the Moroccan audience, and the content of the series is Moroccan content, so it is not possible to talk to the Moroccan audience in a different language, but in the future, we could translate these works, because the positive thing about this production is that we can easily change the voice and choose any language we want, we are thinking about this so that we can export Moroccan culture to the whole world,” says Oubaba.

The 3D artists and cartoonists of the team either studied graphic design or taught themselves thanks to online tutorials. Internal training is also provided – but more support for these professions is needed.

“As for the production of the animated films series, one of the difficulties we face is the issue of training, because of the lack of training centres, we want to have more centres, so that we have new energies and more technicians so that we can then say that we have an animation industry,” says Drouicha.

Moroccan forum for an animated film

The Festival international du cinéma d’animation de Meknès (FICAM) celebrated its 20th anniversary from May 6th to 11th which was organized jointly by the Aïcha Foundation and the Institut français; the festival celebrated Moroccan animated films by creating the first Moroccan animation film forum.

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The forum ran from May 6th to 8th, bringing professional animators together with representatives of

  • Moroccan television (Al Aoula and 2M)
  • Moroccan studios
  • National Institute of Fine Arts (Tetouan)
  • School of Fine Arts (Casablanca)

The film festival organizers say Moroccan television’s recent commissions for animation programs have “opened new possibilities for developing animated films in the Kingdom of Morocco.

So the forum was the ideal moment to discuss projects with three Moroccan studios (Artcoustic, Lorem, and Never Seen). The aim was to “discuss the future of animated films in Morocco with the longer-term project of creating a Moroccan animated film market in Meknes.

With this event, the Aïcha Foundation and the Institut français wish to “confirm Meknes as a Moroccan, Arab and African platform for an animation film.” The first series of the animated film will be released in September of 2022.

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